Student reflections on leadership conference
March 15, 2013
Melia Manter ‘15 attended Oregon Campus Compact’s Student Conference at the end of February along with two other Lewis & Clark students. This year’s conference, titled “A changing world: Sifting through the clutter,” focused on helping student student leaders navigate new technology, a multicultural landscape, and an interconnected world.
We caught up with Melia to hear a bit about her experience.
Bringing together colleges and universities from all across the state, Oregon Campus Compact sets the ambitious goal of providing educational resources to ensure that “every Oregon student will graduate as an engaged, global citizen.”
The events that took place over the weekend of February 23rd applied that goal to 40 eager Oregonian college students.
Myself, Ian Blair ‘15, and Brenda Barnum ‘15 represented Lewis & Clark as we came together under the beautiful rustic setting of Camp Harlow in Eugene, Oregon for a two-day leadership conference.
With over a dozen workshops being offered, students dipped their toes into such topics as “Social Media 3.0”, “Micro-volunteering”, and “Servant Leadership”. With a dynamic approach to leadership, we learned about mindfulness through Mexican road signs, social media through puppies and babies, and finding priorities in a cluttered world through the allegory of a tree.
At this school away from school, an eclectic mix of students were able to discuss their experiences, commonalities, and differences in regards to leadership. University of Oregon students discussed taking leadership classes and Portland State University talked about their leadership club on campus. Personally, while not ever having taken a leadership class, I felt that most of the skills in my leadership pocket were ones that I have learned unknowingly at Lewis & Clark. While we may not have service leadership as a major by any means, it feels to me like one would have to go out of their way to not find themselves in a leadership position during their four years at Lewis & Clark. From being the leader of a club to helping plan a symposium or speaker, Lewis & Clark relies on student leaders to keep the campus life vibrant.
Discussing this with the two other Lewis & Clark students, we found that we all have very different leadership roles on campus and came about those roles in equally different ways. While I work for 3CE and find that many of my leadership positions stem from there, Brenda is a resident advisor and involved in the multicultural community while Ian is leading an alternative spring break trip and serves as a peer counselor in the Queer Resource Center. Whereas the nearly 83,000 students that Portland Community College enrolls may have to go through an application and vetting process to find themselves in a leadership role, Lewis & Clark offers the advantage of a small student body and therefore a wide array of open positions.
While always a proponent of being involved with school activities, sitting around a table with students who don’t always have that opportunity reminded me of how fortunate I am.
- Melia Manter ‘13